Phils will look to shock the NL East in unprecedented 2020 MLB season

Bryce Harper and the Phillies can't play until Friday due to MLB's coronavirus protocols.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The cards are stacked against the Phillies this season. 

Playing in the toughest division in baseball — the National League East — Philadelphia has plenty to prove following a disappointing 2019 season, the first featuring Bryce Harper. 

An initially-frantic offseason that featured the hiring of Joe Girardi as manager and the signings of Zack Wheeler to bolster the pitching staff and Didi Gregorius to take over at shortstop went quiet after December. It wasn’t exactly a statement of intent to contend when the NL East boasts the defending world-champion Washington Nationals, the 97-win Atlanta Braves, and the up-and-coming New York Mets. 

At the heart of this team lies Harper and Rhys Hoskins, the bashing duo of power hitters expected to pace the Phillies’ offense. But additional boosts come in the form of the returning Andrew McCutchen, fresh off a recovered torn ACL, arguably the best catcher in baseball in JT Realmuto, and the steady Jean Segura at third base. 

While the offense will be imposing, the pitching staff remains a question mark. Behind ace Aaron Nola, Wheeler has yet to put together an entirely consistent season while Jake Arrieta is coming off an injury and has yet to reclaim his dominant stuff from his days with the Chicago Cubs. 

Then there is the bullpen, which is still not back to 100% as David Robertson continues his recovery from elbow surgery, Seranthony Dominguez continues to hold off Tommy John surgery, and Hector Neris, Ranger Suarez and Tommy Hunter have recently gotten over coronavirus.

Here is how Metro projects the Phillies’ starting lineup and rotation to perform this season:

2020 Phillies starting lineup projections, stats

1) Andrew McCutchen- CF

  • 2019 stats: .256 BA, .834 OPS, 10 HR, 29 RBI
  • 2020 prediction: .265 BA, .850 OPS, 9 HR, 31 RBI

2) Bryce Harper- RF

  • 2019 stats: .260 BA, .882 OPS, 35 HR, 114 RBI
  • 2020 prediction: .275 BA, .897 OPS, 12 HR, 35 RBI

3) JT Realmuto- C

  • 2019 stats: .275 BA, .820 OPS, 25 HR, 83 RBI
  • 2020 prediction: .278 BA, .822 OPS, 7 HR, 28 RBI

4) Jay Bruce- DH

  • 2019 stats: .216 BA, .784 OPS, 26 HR, 59 RBI
  • 2020 prediction: .223 BA, .774 OPS, 11 HR, 34 RBI

5) Rhys Hoskins- 1B

  • 2019 stats: .226 BA, .819 OPS, 29 HR, 85 RBI
  • 2020 prediction: .240 BA, .858 OPS, 13 HR, 38 RBI

6) Didi Gregorius- SS

  • 2019 stats: .238 BA, .718 OPS, 16 HR, 61 RBI
  • 2020 prediction: .264 BA, .742 OPS, 7 HR, 29 RBI

7) Jean Segura- 3B

  • 2019 stats: .280 BA, .733 OPS, 12 HR, 60 RBI
  • 2020 prediction: .286 BA, .733 OPS, 4 HR, 22 RBI

8) Scott Kingery- 2B

  • 2019 stats: .258 BA, .698 OPS, 19 HR, 55 RBI
  • 2020 prediction: .249 BA, .712 OPS, 6 HR, 20 RBI

9) Adam Haseley- LF

  • 2019 stats: .266 BA, .720 OPS, 5 HR, 26 RBI
  • 2020 prediction: .257 BA, 4 HR, 18 RBI

 

2020 Phillies starting rotation projections, stats

Aaron Nola (RHP)

  • 2019 stats: 12-7, 3.87 ERA, 229 K’s, 1.265 WHIP
  • 2020 prediction: 5-3, 3.29 ERA, 78 K’s, 1.172 WHIP

Zack Wheeler (RHP)

  • 2019 stats: 11-8, 3.96 ERA, 195 K’s, 1.259 WHIP
  • 2020 prediction: 4-3, 3.77 ERA, 68 K’s, 1.294 WHIP

Jake Arrieta (RHP)

  • 2019 stats: 8-8, 4.64 ERA, 110 K’s, 1.474 WHIP
  • 2020 prediction: 5-5, 4.58 ERA, 62 K’s, 1.289 WHIP

Vincent Velasquez (RHP)

  • 2019 stats: 7-8, 4.91 ERA, 130 K’s, 1.389 WHIP
  • 2020 prediction: 3-5, 4.67 ERA, 56 K’s, 1.364 WHIP

Zach Eflin (RHP)

  • 2019 stats: 10-13, 4.13 ERA, 129 K’s, 1.347 WHIP
  • 2020 prediction: 4-5, 4.73 ERA, 49 K’s, 1.341 WHIP

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